Saturday, June 26, 2010

Small Steps with Big Results

So, as you've heard me say, time and time again, the best, most sustainable way to make healthy lifestyle changes is with small steps. If you jump in, head first, full of enthusiasm, you're probably going to sink... I know from personal experience. The problem is when you overhaul your diet and exercise in an extreme way, you find yourself thoroughly out of your element and often completely overwhelmed. As rewarding as it may be to see major weight loss for a week or two, if the lifestyle you've created is something that you can't keep up with, the weight will come back plus some. So, instead of aiming for big numbers in the short term, aim for manageable changes that will result in big numbers (and healthy living) for the long term.

If you don't have a regular exercise routine...Do 10-15min of exercise 4-5 days a week for 2-3 weeks. This will get you in the habit of making time for yourself. When you get to week 3 or 4 increase your time by 5 minutes. As you feel more comfortable with your routine up the time again. Aim to eventually reach 30-40min 4-5 days a week.

If your eating habits need some cleaning up...Don't eliminate any food! Yes, that's right, nothing is completely off limits. The key is moderation. Think add, not subtract. Add more fresh fruits and veggies to your diet. Instead of toast with your eggs, have fruit salad. Instead of a chicken sandwich for lunch, try a salad topped with grilled chicken, instead of your 3pm granola bar, try a banana and some almonds, you get the idea...

If you don't know where to begin...Take some time a make a list of why a healthy lifestyle is important to you. List everything from fitting into your "skinny" jeans to being able to play with your kids, dogs, grand kids without getting winded. Anything that is a motivating factor for you, put it down. Then think about small, manageable changes you feel comfortable making and be specific. (Such as I will exercise/move my body/work out for 10min before breakfast Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday for the next three weeks.) Being specific and writing down your thoughts and goals will help you stay motivated and avoid any potential pitfalls.

Best of luck on your journey to healthy living!

Cailen is a lifestyle designer and author and owner of Cailen Ascher Design, a lifestyle design company. For more information visit

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hello there. thank you for your comments - i love reading them.

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